Liam McCabe, manager of City Councilman Eric Ulrich’s (R-Rockaway Beach) re-election campaign, busily worked the phones last week in the campaign’s one-room Ozone Park headquarters.
A printer was late sending yard signs, a banner was posted in the wrong location, there was an issue with the installation of a billboard and constituents were requesting signs for their windows.
As the campaign reaches its final weeks, Ulrich, the youngest serving Council member and one of only three Republicans in the 51-member body, is making his final push for votes.
“We’re still reaching out to voters, going door-to-door. We’re going to compete for every voter, irrespective of party affiliation, on Election Day,” he said last Thursday. “We are also going to make sure we get our voters out to the polls.”
The walls of the 24-year-old incumbent’s office are lined with newspaper clippings, campaign signs and large maps of District 32, with lines drawn in black marker around blocks he has canvassed, shaking hands with residents and telling them why they should check the box next to his name Nov. 3.
The fast-approaching election is crucial for Ulrich, who was born and raised in Ozone Park, because it is the first time he has run for the Council in a general election. Voted into office in the Feb. 24 special election to fill the spot Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) vacated after winning a state Senate seat in November 2008, he is looking to defend his seat against Frank Gulluscio, the Democratic primary winner.
Ulrich said his record of keeping promises and getting work done during his short stint in office are key reasons voters should choose him.
“I’m not going to go out there and make promises I can’t keep, but I have realistic expectations of where this community could be in four years, and if community members are concerned about the long-term sustainability and viability of this community, then they will return me to office on Nov. 3,” he said.
Ulrich, who has been endorsed by three New York City mayors — Michael Bloomberg, an independent; Rudy Giuliani, a Republican; and Ed Koch, a Democrat — points to his success in removing graffiti from more than 400 district locations and bringing more than $1 million to local libraries as evidence he is able to produce results for residents.
He marched through windy rain alongside Bloomberg and Giuliani in Howard Beach’s annual Columbus Day parade Sunday morning, in a show of support for his candidacy.
Ulrich, who said he will fight for tax relief for working-class people if he is re-elected, said his main priorities will be transportation and quality-of-life issues. The next challenges he wants to tackle are traffic congestion on Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards, noise nuisances, and increasing the district’s police presence and security.
In the end, he said he hopes to use his time in office to help his district in tangible ways.
“Eventually when I’m out of office, I’d like people to look back and say my district is better off because of my service and I left it better than I found it,” Ulrich said.
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cn
©2009 Community News Group
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